If you are holidaying in Rome, visiting the Sistine Chapel is essential.
The Sistine Chapel, earlier known as Cappella Magna, was restored by Pope Sixtus IV between 1477 and 1480 and is currently named after him.
It is renowned for its stunning artwork, particularly the ceiling and altar wall frescoes painted by the Italian Renaissance artist Michelangelo.
Michelangelo’s work does not solely adorn the Sistine Chapel. Other renowned Renaissance artists, including Botticelli, Perugino, and Ghirlandaio, contributed to the chapel’s decoration.
The Sistine Chapel is at the end of the Vatican Museums, and visitors always see them together.
This article covers everything you must know before booking Sistine Chapel tickets.
Table of contents
- What to expect at Sistine Chapel
- Sistine Chapel tickets
- How to reach Sistine Chapel
- Sistine Chapel hours
- How long does Sistine Chapel take
- Best time to visit Sistine Chapel
- Entering Sistine Chapel for free
- What to see in Sistine Chapel
- Sistine Chapel dress code
- Sistine Chapel mass times
- Photography inside Sistine Chapel
- FAQs about the Sistine Chapel
What to expect at Sistine Chapel
The main attraction of the Sistine Chapel is its incredible artwork.
You can expect to see “The Creation of Adam,” “The Last Judgment,” and many other intricate and beautifully painted scenes from the Bible.
Visitors must remain silent to preserve a respectful and thoughtful atmosphere within the chapel. This is done to respect the holy value and to maintain the artwork.
Photography is strictly prohibited in the Sistine Chapel. This rule is in place to protect the frescoes and maintain the tranquility of the space.
You should dress modestly, covering your shoulders and knees. Wearing sleeveless tops, shorts, or hats is not allowed.
Sistine Chapel tickets
One ticket, many attractions
Since visitors must go through the Vatican Museums to get to the Sistine Chapel, one ticket gets you to access both attractions.
St Peter’s Basilica is free to enter, and there is a much less crowded route from inside the Vatican Museums to the Basilica.
As a result, one ticket gets you access to three attractions – Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, and St Peter’s Basilica.
Where to buy tickets
You can get your Sistine Chapel entry tickets at the venue or buy them online, much in advance.
Online ticket prices tend to be cheaper than tickets at the venue.
If you plan to get them at the attraction, depending on the time of the day (and month), you may have to wait in the ticket counter line for an hour or more. When you buy online, you can avoid the long queues at the ticket counters.
When you book early, you also get your preferred time slot.
Because some attractions sell a limited number of tickets, during peak days they may sell out. Booking early helps avoid last-minute disappointments.
How online tickets work
Visit the Sistine Chapel and Vatican Museums ticket booking page, select the date, time slot and number of tickets and book.
Once you purchase Sistine Chapel tickets, they get delivered to your email address.
There is no need to get printouts of the ticket.
On the day of your visit, you can show your e-ticket on your smartphone and walk in.
Sistine Chapel discounts
Sistine Chapel’s Skip the Line ticket, the cheapest and most popular way to enter the museum, costs €30 for all adults 18 years and older.
Kids six to 17 years pay a discounted price of €18 and students up to 25 years old (with a valid student ID) also get a discount and pay €22 for their admission.
While availing of these Sistine Chapel ticket discounts, please have a valid photo ID card ready.
Without a valid ID, you will be asked to pay for a full-price ticket to enter, and you won’t get back the money for the discounted ticket.
Kids below six years can walk in for free.
Cheapest Sistine Chapel tickets
These are also known as Vatican Museum tickets because they get you access to both attractions.
After seeing both, you can also explore St Peter’s Basilica.
You can book these tickets with or without the audio guide.
Adult Ticket (18+ years): €30
Child Ticket (6 to 17 years): €18
Student Ticket (18 to 25 years): €22
*For €9 per person you can book an audio guide in advance.
*Kids younger than six can walk in for free.
Sistine Chapel’s guided tour
If you can afford it, we highly recommend a guided tour of the Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel.
Guided tours to the Sistine Chapel are possible only in combination with Vatican Museums and/or St Peter’s Basilica.
We recommend a three-hour guided tour, which provides skip-the-line access to the three most magnificent sites in the Vatican City – Sistine Chapel, Vatican Museums, and St Peter’s Basilica.
Ticket prices may vary depending on the maximum number of people allowed on the tour (from 8 to 40 people) and the tour time.
This tour is not wheelchair accessible.
Children below the age of five years are allowed entry for free.
Vatican Museum without St. Peter’s Basilica
Adult Ticket (18+ years): €64
Child Ticket (6 to 17 years): €56
Infant Ticket (up to 5 years): Free
Fast Track in English
Adult Ticket (18+ years): €106
Child Ticket (6 to 17 years): €114
Infant Ticket (up to 5 years): Free
For the ultimate Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel VIP experience, check out this guided tour with a dedicated entrance.
Sistine Chapel private tour
When you book a private tour of the Vatican, you can maximize your time with the guide and customize your itinerary to your interests.
Since these private tours are booked in advance, you can avoid the notoriously long lines at the ticket counter.
This private tour of the Vatican is the most popular among visitors.
Adult Ticket (18+ years): €1200
Child Ticket (6 to 17 years): €500
Infant Ticket (up to 5 years): Free
If you are a group of friends or a large family, this ultimate VIP Private tour with €430 per person will work out best.
Sistine Chapel night tour
From April to October, every Friday, the Vatican Museums are open from 7 pm to 11 pm.
During this guided three-hour night tour, you can also explore the Sistine Chapel.
The last entry for the night tour is at 9.30 pm.
This exclusive tour is limited to 18 people per group.
Last minute Sistine Chapel tickets
Many visitors search for last-minute Vatican tickets or last-minute Sistine Chapel tickets because they forgot to book them well in advance.
Some tourists search for online tickets at the eleventh hour after seeing the long lines at the Vatican Museum entrance.
Either way, you need not worry.
Popular travel websites buy Sistine Chapel tickets in advance and sell them as last-minute tickets.
These same-day tickets cost €6 more than the regular tickets, but most visitors don’t care as long as they can skip the long lines.
Adult Ticket (18+ years): €36
Child Ticket (6 to 17 years): €34
Infants up to 5 years can enter for free.
Vatican + Roman Forum + St. Peter’s Basilica
Tourists usually plan a trip to the Colosseum and Vatican City because they are two of the biggest attractions in Rome.
This tour provides you with skip-the-line access to St Peter’s Basilica, the Vatican Museums, the Sistine Chapel, and Roman Forum, along with the Roman Forum and the Palatine Hill.
Once activated, your ticket is valid for three consecutive calendar days.
Adult Ticket (18+ years): €97
Child Ticket (6 to 17 years): €87
Children below the age of 5 years are allowed entry for free.
For just €100 per person, you can have a professional guide take you through the Vatican attractions and Colosseum on a day-long tour. Find out more
Visual Story: 13 must-know tips before visiting Sistine Chapel
How to reach Sistine Chapel
The Sistine Chapel is in Vatican City in the Apostolic Palace, which is the official residence of the Pope.
Address: Vatican Museum, 00120 Vatican City. Get Directions.
It is at the end of the Vatican Museums, and you can go to the Sistine Chapel only by going through the museums.
From the entrance of the Vatican Museum, it takes approximately 30 minutes to reach the Sistine Chapel.
The Vatican Museums are located on the northern edge of Vatican City, on the west side of the Tiber River.
Some of the most affordable and readily available options to reach the Vatican Museums are the Subway, the Tram, and the Hop-on Hop-off bus tours.
Subway is usually the most convenient option to reach the Vatican Museums (and thus the Sistine Chapel).
Cipro Metro Station is best for early morning visits, and we recommend Ottaviano Metro Station for late morning or mid-day visits.
Vatican Museums is a seven minutes walk from both the Metro stations.
If you can’t figure out where to go, follow the crowd or click here for directions to reach the Vatican Museum entrance.
Tram No. 19 can drop you at the St Peter’s stop (also known as Risorgimento/S. Pietro), close to Vatican City.
However, it isn’t easy to take the Tram from the city center of Rome.
The most commonly used bus routes to reach the Vatican are Bus No. 40 and 64.
They start right in front of the Termini Train station and end at the Vatican.
To travel by car, you must turn on Google Maps and get started.
There are multiple parking spaces around the attraction.
Sistine Chapel hours
From Monday to Saturday, Sistine Chapel opens at 9 am.
From Monday to Thursday, the Sistine Chapel closes at 6 pm, and on Friday, the opening is extended until 10.30 pm and Saturday until 8 pm.
On Sundays, it remains closed, except for the last Sunday of the month when the Chapel opens at 9 am and closes at 2 pm. The last entrance is at 12.30 pm.
The Chapel also remains closed on the 1 and 6 January, 11, February, 10 April, 1 May, 29 June, 15 and 16 August, 1 November, and 8, 25, 26, and 31 December.
How long does Sistine Chapel take
Most visitors spend around three hours exploring the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel.
Even if you want to fast-track to the Sistine Chapel, you will need at least 90 minutes.
It takes a half-hour to walk from the Vatican Museums’ entrance to the Sistine Chapel, and then you spend approximately 30 minutes admiring the art on display at the chapel.
Best time to visit Sistine Chapel
The best time to visit Sistine Chapel is as soon as it opens at 9 am.
If you can’t make it in the morning, the next best time to visit Sistine Chapel is in the late afternoon – between 1.30 and 3.30 pm.
During both these periods, visitors will crowd the Vatican Museum, and the Chapel will be relatively less crowded.
Booking your tickets online helps you time your visit better so you don’t waste time standing in line.
The Rome Tourist Pass is a super saver. For just €97 per person, the pass includes entry tickets to Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, Colosseum, Roman Forum, Palatine Hill, and Pantheon and a guided tour of St. Peter’s Basilica. You also get a 10% discount code, which you can use (five times!) to get discounts on future purchases.
Entering Sistine Chapel for free
The Sistine Chapel allows free entry on the last Sunday of each month. But since it is free entry, you must be ready to brave a massive crowd on this day.
The entry is also free on the 27th of September, i.e., World Tourism Day.
What to see in Sistine Chapel
The Sistine Chapel is one of the most fantastic creations of the Renaissance period and stands as a testament to man’s genius.
The beautiful artwork of the Sistine Chapel and its magnificent scale make it a one-of-a-kind site for art, romance, and history.
Some of the highlights of the Sistine Chapel are:
Sistine Chapel ceiling
The Sistine Chapel ceiling is one of the most impressive sights to have emerged from the masterful strokes of Michelangelo between 1508 and 1512.
One of the masterpieces of high Renaissance art, the ceiling to this day is a beauty to behold.
Pope Julius II commissioned the Sistine Chapel ceiling, which serves as the location of papal conclaves and many other important services.
The main element central to the Chapel’s ceiling is the depiction of the nine scenes of the Book of Genesis, the Creation of Adam being one of the most iconic representations of God and Man and the moment of creation.
The Last Judgement
Michelangelo painted the Last Judgement above the Sistine Chapel Altar, depicting Dante’s version of the Last Judgement as in Divine Comedy.
The North Wall of the Chapel depicts scenes from the life of Jesus Christ by various artists.
Don’t miss Perugino’s The Baptism of Jesus, Botticelli’s The Temptation of Jesus, Rosselli’s The Sermon on the Mount, and the iconic The Last Supper.
The South Wall of the Chapel depicts scenes from the life of Moses by various artists.
Some masterpieces to look for are Perugino’s Moses’ Journey Through Egypt, Rosselli’s The Ten Commandments, and Luca Signorelli’s Moses’ Final Acts and Death.
Sistine Chapel dress code
Sistine Chapel has a strict dress code to allow entry into its premises.
While visiting the Sistine Chapel, you must wear clothes covering your shoulders and knees as a sign of respect.
Therefore, sleeveless or low-cut clothing, shorts, skirts, and hats, are not allowed.
If you don’t follow the dress code applicable at the Sistine Chapel, you will be denied entry even if you are carrying a ticket.
Visitors who aren’t dressed appropriately can purchase plastic cloaks from the venue.
However, wearing such cloaks can be uncomfortable in hot weather.
Sistine Chapel mass times
The Sistine Chapel does not offer mass service to the public, but other sites in the Vatican are open for mass.
Visitors who want to attend a mass can try the ones at St Peter’s Basilica and St Peter’s Square, which are free to enter.
However, you must get the free tickets, which are issued a few days before the event.
St Peters Basilica can seat 15,000 people at a time, but entry can’t be guaranteed even if you have the tickets because it is popular with locals and tourists.
That’s why we recommend you arrive a few hours before the scheduled time for Mass.
Interested in free entry to the Colosseum, Vatican Museums, St Peter’s Basilica, and Sistine Chapel? Buy the Omnia Card
Photography inside Sistine Chapel
No photography or filming is allowed inside the Sistine Chapel under a funding agreement with Nippon Television Network, a Japanese Corporation that paid for the 9-year restoration project of all artworks and the Sistine Chapel.
This agreement provided the Network exclusive rights to photography and videography inside the premises.
Guards are placed to ensure nobody clicks photographs inside the Sistine Chapel.
FAQs about the Sistine Chapel
Here are some frequently asked questions about the Sistine Chapel:
The regular skip-the-line ticket costs €30 for all visitors above 18 years.
Students up to 25 years old (with a valid student ID) get a discount of €8 and pay €22 for admission.
You can book a guided tour for a group of 8 to 40 people, which will help you save a significant amount of money.
Yes, tickets for Sistine Chapel are timed. You need arrive 15 minutes before the start time.
Sistine Chapel tickets are timed and date specific. No rescheduling or refund policy applies to the tickets.
Yes, you can purchase your Sistine Chapel tickets at the entrance.
However, depending on the time of the day (and month), you may have to wait in the ticket counter line for an hour or more.
Therefore, we recommend buying your tickets online as it is more convenient.
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